Galliani: Benzema out of reach for Milan

The Frenchman is off limits according to the Rossoneri official, who did not deny interest in Mateo Kovacic while playing down talk of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s return

AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani has denied holding talks with Real Madrid over Karim Benzema, but would not rule out a move for team-mate Mateo Kovacic.

Benzema’s future at the Santiago Bernabeu has been the subject of recent speculation, with new Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho reportedly monitoring his situation with a view to making a bid.

The revelation from Robert Lewandowski’s agent on Friday that the Bayern Munich striker has held talks with Madrid has cast further doubt on Benzema’s future, while Milan have also been linked with an offer should a takeover from a Chinese consortium be completed.

Galliani, however, says Benzema remains highly valued by the Madrid hierarchy and has never been considered a realistic target.

“We never talked about Benzema with Real Madrid or his entourage,” he told Mediaset Premium. “He’s very much admired by the coaches, directors and president of Real Madrid, so we never thought of reaching him.”

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Galliani would not dismiss the idea of a bid for Kovacic, however, with the midfielder having struggled to force his way into Zinedine Zidane’s plans since he took charge in January.
 
“Kovacic? We’ll see,” Galliani said, before adding: “I am not here to talk about the market.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has also been linked with a return to Milan as he weighs up his options following a decision to leave Paris Saint-Germain at the end of his contract.

Galliani has repeatedly stressed that the Sweden star’s wages would be a major stumbling block for any potential deal and he maintains that meetings with the striker’s agent, Mino Raiola, are unlikely to solve the problem.
 
“I always have meetings with Raiola – we have a good rapport and he represents four or five Milan players,” the official concluded. “The problem is not meeting Raiola, but paying Ibrahimovic.”

Arbeloa: Mourinho didn’t get enough recognition at Madrid

Jose Mourinho spent three seasons at Real Madrid, winning La Liga in 2011-12, which ended Barcelona’s run of three consecutive titles.

Real Madrid defender Alvaro Arbeloa has heaped praise on Jose Mourinho, claiming the Portuguese helped disrupt Pep Guardiola’s La Liga dominance with Barcelona.

As Arbeloa prepares for Saturday’s Champions League final with Madrid and Mourinho seemingly closes in on a move to Manchester United, the Spanish defender reflected on the latter’s time at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Mourinho spent three seasons in the Spanish capital and guided Madrid to La Liga glory in 2011-12, ending Barca’s run of three consecutive titles.

“Mourinho was very important to break the Catalans’ dominance,” Arbeloa said in an interview with beIN Sports.

“He has not been given enough recognition for this but if he hadn’t come along, Pep Guardiola would still be winning titles in Barcelona to this day.”

Arbeloa is set to leave Madrid following Saturday’s final against Atletico Madrid in Milan. Check out the new English football division.

And the 33-year-old also lauded current Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, adding: “He has our respect, admiration and affection.”

‘Rakitic plays like he is from La Masia!’

The Croatian’s compatriot Ivan Kelava, who plays for Granada in Spain, has hailed the midfielder’s seamless integration into the Barcelona first team since his move from Sevilla

Granada goalkeeper Ivan Kelava has hailed his compatriot Ivan Rakitic’s seamless integration into the Barcelonamidfield.

The Croatia star moved to Catalunya from Sevilla in the summer of 2014 and won La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League in his debut season at Camp Nou.

Rakitic was brought to Barcelona to replace club legend Xavi and Kelava, who played with the 27-year-old for Croatia’s Under-21 team, believes he is a natural fit for the Spanish champions.

“It’s amazing how he plays,” Kelava told Goal. “When Barcelona bought him, it seemed like he came from La Masia.

“Rakete, as we call him in Croatia, is not just a good guy but also an incredible player. I played alongside him and also against him and it’s incredible – his first year at Barcelona and he has won everything!”

Kelava also lined up alongside Real Madrid stars Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic, two other members of a formidable Croatia midfield, during their time at Dinamo Zagreb.

“I was lucky to play with Modric and Kovacic,” he said. “I met Luka before he joined Tottenham. You could see during training his quality was on another level.

“And on Kovacic I’m going to tell you an anecdote: when he reached the first team asked me who my room-mate was, and I told him ‘quiet, son, you’re with me’.

“You could feel he was a phenomenon. I was lucky to play with them both. I always had a f****** great feeling with them.”

Barcelona agreed a deal to sign Dinamo Zagreb’s latest wonderkid, Alen Halilovic, months before they brought Rakitic to the club and Kelava tipped the youngster to eventually join his international team-mate in the first team. If you plan to bet on future transfers, check William Hill Promo code 2016 and their offer.

“Alen is a kid, he’s just 19 years old,” the 28-year-old added. “He’s very young and has great quality.

“I was with him at Dinamo and has a lot of quality, that’s why he’s known as ‘the Croatian Messi’. Every player needs time for adaptation, and a young player needs even more.

“Now he’s playing for Sporting Gijon and he’s showing his quality. I think he’s going to be a very important player for Barcelona.”

Mazzarri: Kovacic needs to play defense as well

The young talent of Inter, Mateo Kovacic , talked about his difficult time at Inter: “This year, I’ve played less, I did not expect that. Mazzarri prefer to defend than to attack” .
Harsh words, pronounced by Mateo Kovacic at the Inter coach Walter Mazzarri. The young talent is in fact playing less for his club, and attributed the ‘blame’ to the footballing philosophy of the coach Walter Mazzarri .

“I haven’t played for a while, but I feel good. – Said the Inter midfielder – With Stramaccioni I’ve played, but now I get only from the bench, I did not expect that. It’s not for me to comment on the decisions of the coach, for sure he prefers a style to play more defensive, and I like the more attacking football.”

There would be no fundamental incompatibility between the Croatian whizkid and his coach, but Kovacic is determined to climb the hierarchy: “I have to get used to his game, I have no choice. – He said – But I need time. it’s a difficult time for me but I think that I will soon rise again.”

On question if Kovacic can start with Hernanes from the first minute, Mazzarri said:
“If they play that means no Guarin, the best solution is that from time to time I choose the ones that are better. Kovacic against AC Milan played well, so do not rule out anything, not even to play all three (Hernanes, Guarin and Kovacic) together.”

In the 2013-14 season he made his debut in the match of Italian Cup Inter-Citadel that finished 4-0 for Inter entering in 58′. The first appearance in the championship is the first game when Inter won 2-0 against Genoa, entering just a few minutes before the final whistle. On November 9, 2013 in the home game when Inter won 2-0 against Livorno, he gives his first season assist to Yuto Nagatomo for the final 2-0 at the end of the second half.

On 31 January 2013, thanks to the lawyer Giuseppe Bozzo, he moved to Inter, signing a four-year contract with the Nerazzurri with the 1.1 million euros salary plus bonuses: Dinamo Zagreb should be linked to the 11 million plus 4 bonus (2 million over the next four years if Inter gets to qualify at least twice in the Champions League and 2 million if he manages to win two championships in four years and a half)

In the last match with the national side, he made an assist, and his side won 2-0. His side will play in World cup 2014, and you can bet on World Cup Groups with William Hill.